Lyft Picks Up $600 Million in Latest Investment Round
The new batch of money means Lyft is now valued at $7.5 billion.
For the last few years, Lyft has largely found itself playing second fiddle to Uber in America's burgeoning ride-hailing and ride-sharing industry. But while Travis Kalanick's mobility giant continues to be dogged by bad publicity and allegations of criminal activity, its competitor has been slowly but surely continuing to build power and money—in large part, simply by not being Uber.
The new round of fundraising brings Lyft's valuation to $7.5 billion—a large sum by most measures, unless you're comparing it to Uber's roughly $70 billion value.
What's interesting about this new round of fundraising, however, isn't just the amount of capital being pushed Lyft's way—it's who's doing the pushing. Among the ranks of the ride-hailing company's new investors is private equity firm KKR. In a blog post discussing the deal, KKR cited ride-sharing's projected upward growth trends over the next decade as the reason for wanting to sink their carefully-managed money into the field.
"As we surveyed the field for a potential investment, we started with our own experiences. Every ride we requested began with our asking the driver which service they most preferred to drive for. Time and again, the answer was Lyft," Vincent Letteri, KKR's director of private equity & technology, media & telecommunications growth, said in the blog post.
And while Lettieri didn't mention Uber by name, the shadow of that company's recent troubles was rather clearly implied.
"We followed this up with our own research and our findings were consistent: Lyft sets itself apart from the competition," he wrote. "We also saw a mature, focused management team that stands out. We’ve known John Zimmer for almost three years and watched him thoughtfully grow the business and the Lyft team over time."
KKR co-founder Henry Kravis, for what it's worth, was described as "Wall Street’s Angel Of Death" by financial industry website Dealbreaker.
"While those numbers are nice, what’s really important is that Lyft just partnered with Henry Kravis to hunt down a wounded rival," Dealbreaker executive editor Thornton McEnery wrote. "And don’t nobody kill-off rivals like Henry fucking Kravis."